Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tear Down This Wall!

I honestly hear Ronald Regan everytime I think about this project and how I want to tear the wall down with my own two hands. I make it sound all dramatic in my head as if I could will the wall to come down by itself - it never does. So we hired a contractor and he will tear down the wall instead.

Every television show about Real Estate tells you that Kitchens sell homes. I laugh every time I think about that because our kitchen sucks. I can’t even come up with a more lady-like way to describe why it doesn’t work for us – it just sucks.
For one, we don’t even have a dishwasher. I take that back. We got a great deal on a dishwasher on Black Friday and it has been sitting in the box in the sunroom since it was delivered. So yes we have a dishwasher but it is still in the box. In trying to figure out how to fit it into our kitchen layout (without moving plumbing and gas) we came up with some other mind blowing ideas for our cavernous kitchen. Our cabinets are awful – particle board construction with plastic laminate. Our countertops are white with fake gold veining running through them…also plastic laminate.
We don’t have the patience to do a full out addition off the back which would easily solve all these problems and I actually think that the kitchen layout is quite efficient as it is, albeit claustrophobic. Open living is all the rage now, so we are seeing this as our chance to take a 1940’s kitchen give it some Botox and let people think it is not the original kitchen and that it is much younger than its 73 yr old bod.
We had this brilliant idea of knocking down the wall between our living room and kitchen in an effort to bring open living concepts to our 1940 cape cod and move a doorway to create a spot for the dishwasher yielding more counterspace.  We really didn’t know what we were doing or what we wanted  but after interviewing a bunch on contractors and gathering ideas from each of them we decided we were sold on taking the wall down. All I knew is that we wanted to fit the dishwasher into the kitchen and didn’t want to move around the plumbing or gas. The sink is right at the window where it is supposed to be and I can’t even bring myself to move around gas lines.
As we were interviewing contractors we taped up our “vision”, using painter’s tape showing how we wanted the space to look. I highly recommend this approach since it can be difficult to explain to someone what you envision in your head; at least it is for me.
RC is most excited about being able to see the TV while cooking. I am most excited to have a dishwasher.
Follow us as we live blog every day of the Demo and re-build of our kitchen.
Here we go.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Portico Loco

I remember the first time we viewed the home I remember seeing the front doorway and thinking “why?”. I mean, I understand that it makes sense to keep dry and warm while waiting to open the front door but it was made from plywood, it was starting to look dirty and cheap making the house feel somewhat closed off and it was dated. We also felt that if we kept the roof part it will still serve its purpose but look less dated. We debated taking the roof part off due to the beautiful molding that is above the door but you can still admire it while standing at the door if you look up. We discussed taking it off at some point and so when I got this pic from RC telling me he was at the house “working” I got a little nervous. I only got nervous because I am a complete control freak (hey-at least I own it) and like to be involved in every project around the house. Being away from the house and unable to get back to help out was like torture and I would text and ask hourly how it was going. He was able to get all 4 sides off including the glass “windows” all by himself without compromising the structure. We were worried about taking the walls off since we did not know how things were supported but it is pretty solid with the remaining posts. I am so proud!  I wish I had some action shots for you but it truly was a one man job.

It looked like this before:
This is what it looked like from the inside of the structure that housed our front door...that is all that it was. So nice to look at...

A few progress shots

By the end of the project and after painting the door red we have a new entry way! I am much happier seeing this when I come home than the old structure.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Safety First

When we finally moved in we were greeted by the chirping fire alarms. This was a good sign since I could not remember If I saw a smoke alarm the few times we were in the house. I mean that because nothing has been updated in this house since probably 1966. I read too much and watch too much of the news to know about all the dangers of not having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. This is especially important when you live in an older home that is heated with natural gas. They call it the silent killer for a reason people. 

Upon our first run to HD to gather supplies I made sure to get a carbon monoxide alarm for the first floor since we only had a smoke alarm on the first floor and a smoke/carbon monoxide combination alarm for the second floor. Our basement is not finished but if it was I would have picked up another one for that level as well. You should really have a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on every floor of your home. This is an inexpensive and easy way to make sure that you are prepared; I think the alarm cost $10. 

Here is my PSA for the day: Go out there and get yourself a carbon/smoke alarm if you don’t have one. If you do have one make sure you test it often to make sure it still works. With Daylight Savings this weekend its a great time to test twice a year - every time you change your clocks, check your alarms!